Giant breed rescue group facing difficult times

Monroe woman volunteers to help find homes for dogs


Tough economic times are not only hurting people, but animals as well.

PHOTOS BY CHRIS KELLY staff New Egypt's Linda and Larry Gress with Faith, a Great Dane, at the All About Them Giant Breed Rescue. The Gresses are seeking more adoptive families and donations to help them maintain the rescue. PHOTOS BY CHRIS KELLY staff New Egypt’s Linda and Larry Gress with Faith, a Great Dane, at the All About Them Giant Breed Rescue. The Gresses are seeking more adoptive families and donations to help them maintain the rescue. Linda Gress, a New Egypt resident, founded All About Them Giant Breed Rescue (AATGBR) 10 years ago. The group saves Great Danes, Irish wolfhounds, mastiffs, and similar large breeds from euthanasia in shelters, and currently has 32 dogs in foster homes. However, Gress lost her job as an office manager for an accounting firm two years ago, and if she does not find work soon, will have no choice but to close the rescue and put down the remaining dogs.

Gress has loved big dogs since she was a child and said they tend to be mellow animals. She said that AATGBR gets calls about dogs that are not easy to adopt. “We take dogs that other rescues leave behind,” she said. The rescue gets calls from all over the country, she said.

Emma, an 8-year-old Great Dane, is the official meet-andgreet dog for AATGBR. She had been dumped at a state park in Georgia, and officials had to shoot her with a dart to catch her. She still wears the scar. Although it took a long time for Gress to win her trust, Emma is now a friendly dog who likes to lick new people when she meets them.

Larry Gress with a Great Dane named Jon. Larry Gress with a Great Dane named Jon. AATGBR holds regular opportunities for the public to meet adoptable dogs. On the first Saturday of the month, they go to Rosedale Mills in Pennington. On the second Saturday, they are at Cutter’s Mills in Cherry Hill, and on the third Saturday at Cutter’s Mills in Princeton.

To adopt a dog from AATGBR, an application must be filled out, and a volunteer will do a home visit.

“We match the dog and family. We make sure the dog is right for the people,” said Gress.

Carol Milazzo-Donise, Monroe, has been a volunteer with AATGBR for five years. She is also the adoptive parent of Elizabeth Taylor Dane and Spencer Tracy Dane, who are going to be 2 years old in September.

“I became involved with AATGBR because I liked the fact that Linda Gress believes in holistic care for dogs,” she said. “[Gress] believes that proper care, good nutrition and supplements prevent many of the health problems you see in dogs in today.”

Milazzo-Donise said that many people stop at the meet-andgreets and ask questions about health issues, and Linda always finds the time to speak to them and will give them information, write down remedies and give them phone numbers, email addresses and referrals.

“Anything to help them and their pets,” she said.

“AATGBR places the right dog with the right family; sometimes it takes awhile, but we are committed to our dogs. We don’t ‘lose’ dogs or put dogs to sleep to make room for new ones. We’re committed to our dogs for life,” according to Milazzo-Donise.

She added that if one of their dogs aren’t right for a family, they will help them find a dog from another rescue.

Milazzo-Donise said the rescue has never had a lot of money.

“Linda and her husband, Larry, have put themselves into debt taking care of these dogs,” she said. “We try to raise money through meet-and-greets, we put up fliers, send out emails, and the volunteers give what they can.

“Since the economy has tanked, we have even more people calling us to give up their dogs, and way less money coming in. I do not know how we’ll be able to look into the eyes of the dogs we have and say goodbye if we are forced to give up this rescue.”

AATGBR is a 501(c) 3 charitable organization and all contributions are tax-deductible.

For more information, visit the group’s website at www.allaboutthem., or call 609- 758-8261.